Sony Alpha 6300 Review

In the market for a ILC camera? Check out this solid (if pricey) Sony offering

Sony Alpha 6300 review
You can record 4K video with the Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera. Sony

Although mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) have continually made strides to improve their usability and performance levels, looking to give those who prefer DSLRs a reason to consider the mirrorless models. Some have been successful; some haven't. Our Sony Alpha 6300 review shows that this camera model makes a big step toward competing with DSLRs, thanks in large part to impressive performance levels.

However, you will notice that the Sony a6300 has a large price tag of nearly four figures for the camera body only. That will place the Alpha 6300 near the top end in terms of price versus the other best mirrorless cameras, potentially driving this model out of the price range of some photographers. Keep in mind that you'll have to spend extra to accumulate lenses for this Sony model, so you'll need a budget of far more than $1,000 to use this camera effectively.

If you can afford this camera though, you're going to be very pleased with its ability to deliver great images and fast autofocus, areas where the Sony Alpha 6300 compares very favorably with entry-level DSLR cameras. You will find that similarly configured DSLR cameras cost a few hundred dollars less than the a6300, but the small size of this really nice mirrorless ILC gives it a leg up on bulky DSLRs. 

Specifications

  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Image sensor: APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
  • Optical zoom: NA, uses interchangeable lenses
  • LCD: 3-inch, 921,600 pixels
  • Maximum image size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 2.63 x 4.72 x 1.92 inches
  • Weight: 12.73 ounces (camera body only)
  • Movie mode: 4K (3840 x 2160)

Pros

  • Camera's image quality is very good in variety of shooting situations
  • 4K video option with HDMI output works great
  • Can use either viewfinder or LCD to frame photos
  • Popup flash available, along with hot shoe to add external flash
  • Comfortable right-hand grip on front of camera

Cons

  • Must charge battery inside the camera
  • Battery life could be a little better
  • Nearly four-figure price tag for camera body alone is high versus other mirrorless models
  • Control buttons on back are a little small to use comfortably
  • Noise can be a problem if the ISO setting is at 3200 or higher

Image Quality

The Sony Alpha 6300 creates impressive looking images in all shooting conditions. With an APS-C sized image sensor and a strong resolution number of 24.2 megapixels, the a6300's images are sharp and bright both indoors and outdoors. Its image quality is near the top end of what you'll typically find with mirrorless ILCs, which helps to justify this Sony camera's higher than average price tag.

You can shoot in either JPEG or RAW image formats, which is an important feature of an advanced interchangeable lens camera, giving intermediate and advanced photographers the ability to shoot images at a quality that matches their needs for a particular photographic session.

When shooting in low light situations, you may experience a few problems with noise if you choose to increase the ISO setting beyond 3200.

You may want to use the unit's popup flash to when shooting in especially low light conditions instead of increasing the ISO setting. You also can add an external flash to the a6300's hot shoe if you're looking for a more powerful flash than what the small pop-up flash can provide. Think of the popup flash as more of a convenience option, while attaching an external flash to the hot shoe will give you better performance.

Performance

Versus other consumer-level mirrorless cameras, the Sony a6300 is an extremely fast performer, offering significant advantages over older Sony mirrorless models. Sony claims the camera's autofocus mechanism can work as quickly as less than a tenth of a second, which should mean you won't experience any shutter lag.

Our tests showed that Sony's report is relatively accurate, as shutter lag is not noticeable in the majority of shooting situations.

The continuous shot mode is very strong with the Alpha 6300, too. You can record images at speeds of around seven frames per second in both JPEG and RAW image formats, and the buffer is large, allowing for storing of several dozen JPEG images at one time.

You'll find built-in Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity with this model, which are must-have features for mirrorless cameras. Our tests showed the battery life for the a6300 didn't drain as quickly when using the Wi-Fi as it seems to for other cameras. But we still recommend having a second battery on hand if you want to use the Wi-Fi a lot.

Design

One of the best features of the Alpha 6300 is the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with the camera. Not many mirrorless ILCs offer a built-in viewfinder. You also could use the tiltable LCD screen to frame your photos, giving you a good mix of options.

The Sony a6300 is a small, lightweight camera, even compared to most mirrorless cameras. However, the manufacturer provided a large right-hand grip on the camera body that makes it much easier to hold and use. Many mirrorless cameras are extremely thin with small hand grip areas that make them less usable.

Sony included a mode dial with the Alpha 6300, which simplifies switching between manual and automatic control modes. Not all mirrorless ILCs include a mode dial, so it's nice to find one here.

The buttons on the back of the camera are a little smaller than we'd like, and they're almost set too tightly to the camera body, which can make changing the settings a little uncomfortable. But that's really the only disadvantage of the design of this very strong Sony camera.

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